Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal has re-iterated the stance that the Centre will not allow multi-brand retail by foreign e-commerce entities.
On the draft e-commerce policy, he asked for submissions from traders and retailer bodies over the next four days. In a meeting with representatives of kirana stores, retailers and traders in New Delhi, Goyal clarified that the aspect of business data in the draft e-commerce policy will be handled by the ministry of electronics and information technology. The draft made public in February claims sovereign right over data -- an assertion hotly contested by global firms including Amazon, Google and Facebook.
Social networking site LocalCircles, started in 2014 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s communication cell, told the commerce and industry ministry that although businesses should have the right to share aggregate data with their group companies overseas and with third parties as well, the government can seek data for law and order issues.
In its submission to the ministry, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) asked for the registration of e-commerce portals in the country and disallowing cashbacks by group companies of marketplaces. CAIT also asked the government to assess the impact of e-commerce on offline traders, small industries and domestic manufacturers.
Goyal urged traders and retailers to join the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) platform to boost their businesses.
There has been a strong push by the government to register startups and small businesses on the GeM platform, the national procurement portal for government departments and public sector undertakings, which has logged a big jump in gross merchandise value (GMV).